Solar: Roof or Portable ... why not both... - Page 3 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-23-2015, 01:06 AM   #21
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There are a couple of nice "suitcase" units out there that fold up compactly and don't take up a lot of room. When I had a pop-up I used two portable panels together, and never lost them to thieves. Maybe I was lucky. As I recall, my biggest problem was keeping them oriented properly to the moving sun.
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Old 06-23-2015, 01:37 AM   #22
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I bought the suitcase unit with 2 panels and an aluminum carrying case. Looked great but I didn't realize how heavy it was. Something like 35 lbs! Zamp Solar has a great set up with a lightweight moulded case. It's on my wish list.
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:49 AM   #23
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I have a suitcase model, two panels that fold together and make an easy carry of something pretty heavy. Mine are the 120 watt models from solarblvd.com and do well keeping things charged. What I have found is this panel fits nicely in the wardrobe closet of our 21 after raising the clothes bar 1/2 an inch.

One discovery on solar charging is that you cannot let it get too low. We are boondocking for a solid two weeks, during that time I am charging every day I can. Weak sun angle, lots of shade, cloudy skies all combine to make it necessary to keep things topped off.

In my case a fixed panel on the roof would not work due to the shade, so my take is you need to have both options of fixed and portable or all portable.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:45 AM   #24
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These portable units, where does one store them while traveling? I pick up the 19 on the 19th. I had it prewired for solar, but now I wonder if I should have sprung for the rooftop. I wonder if adding it now is considered a change on the build or is just an addition?
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:38 AM   #25
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On my 19 I had a single panel, not a foldable, and built a shelf to suspend the unit under the bed. With the foldable unit I now have it would be easy to stow the unit in the accompanying padded case and slide it under the bed. That area is very large and it maybe necessar to have other items stored around it to keep from moving. Putting a thin piece of plywood inside the carring case would even allow some storage on top of the panel.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:09 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by GRINGOandTICA View Post
These portable units, where does one store them while traveling? I pick up the 19 on the 19th. I had it prewired for solar, but now I wonder if I should have sprung for the rooftop. I wonder if adding it now is considered a change on the build or is just an addition?
Give 'em a call first thing tomorrow, ya never know if ya don't ask.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:53 PM   #27
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:16 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRINGOandTICA View Post
I pick up the 19 on the 19th. I had it prewired for solar, but now I wonder if I should have sprung for the rooftop. I wonder if adding it now is considered a change on the build or is just an addition?
It's definitely too late to have it added to the normal production process as solar panels are now being mounted very early in the construction process since they switched to bolt through mounting. My very first production pics I received of the bare shell already had the panel attached and my completion date is 8/24.
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Old 08-02-2015, 03:05 PM   #29
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It's definitely too late to have it added to the normal production process as solar panels are now being mounted very early in the construction process since they switched to bolt through mounting. My very first production pics I received of the bare shell already had the panel attached and my completion date is 8/24.
I just checked our first build picture of which the trailer is just an empty shell, and the solar panel is already up there. The tail lights were next. Our completion date is 8/25. Loren
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Old 08-02-2015, 03:37 PM   #30
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If I were ordering a trailer today I would ask ETI if they would install two of their 150W panels on its roof. I believe they will-- I think someone on the forum has that configuration.

Until recently I had 195W of roof-mounted solar power. It was fine for summer, but in the fall and early spring I discovered that this wasn't enough to fully charge my two 6V batteries. I assume this is because of the drain due to the furnace fan and the fact that the sun is lower in the sky then.
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